Exquisite Corpse

by Roxanna Walitzki

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A nymph’s body in repose, eyes softly closed in flowers and dew, sets the scene for Exquisite Corpse. Unclear if she is dead or dreaming, the mystery hangs over the six songs on Roxanna Walitzki’s debut EP, veiling the gauzy French poems in captivating ambiguity.

Using Fauré and Debussy’s melodies for voice and piano as framework, Roxanna’s imaginative electronic renditions transform and reawaken the scores with emotive, ornamental textures. Subtle sounds sourced from nature give muted voice to the rustling chords behind the poems. Carefully manipulated synths, vocal glitches, and sweeping guitar notes (contributed by Anomie Belle, who also mastered the tracks) add orchestral dynamics to the art-songs’ delicate, timeless power, while gently flowing introductions and postludes connect the scenes.

Conceived from the outset as a collaboration between Roxanna and her sister, visual artist Redd Walitzki, Exquisite Corpse will be released in digital format with a limited print edition of images, featuring Roxanna as the subject, from Redd’s macabre yet beautiful solo-show of the same name.


released May 20, 2016

Arranged, produced, performed, & recorded by Roxanna Walitzki
Artwork by Redd Walitzki (reddwalitzki.com)
Translations by Roxanna Walitzki
Guitar by Anomie Belle
Mixed & Mastered by Roxanna Walitzki & Anomie Belle



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Roxanna Seattle, Washington

Roxanna Walitzki is an innovative performance-artist whose musical dedication, eye for beauty and unique aesthetic infuses her work with vibrancy and individuality. An "operatic iconoclast," Roxanna integrates experimental elements from electronic music into her arrangements of classical songs, producing a delicate world of imagined-sound to match her uniquely ethereal aesthetic. ... more

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Track Name: Dans la nymphée
Although your eyes do not see it,
believe, in your soul, that she is there,
as she has always been: divine and pale.

On this bank rest her hands.
Her head is amidst the jasmine flowers,
and there her feet brush against the branches.

She dreams among these branches.
Her lips and her eyes are closed,
and her mouth barely draws breath.

Sometimes, at night, in a flash of light,
she appears with her eyes open,
and the light is reflected in her eyes.

A brief blue glare,
shines on her long hair;
she awakens and rises.

And the entire garden shines,
illuminated in the depth of the night,
in the fleeting light of a dream.
(translation by Roxanna Walitzki)


Quoique tes yeux ne la voient pas,
Pense, en ton âme, qu'elle est là,
Comme autrefois divine et blanche.

Sur ce bord reposent ses mains.
Sa tête est entre ces jasmins ;
Là, ses pieds effleurent les branches.

Elle sommeille en ces rameaux.
Ses lèvres et ses yeux sont clos,
Et sa bouche à peine respire.

Parfois, la nuit, dans un éclair
Elle apparaît les yeux ouverts,
Et l'éclair dans ses yeux se mire.

Un bref éblouissement bleu
La découvre en ses longs cheveux ;
Elle s'éveille, elle se lève.

Et tout le jardin ébloui
S'illumine au fond de la nuit,
Dans le rapide éclair d'un rêve.
(text by Charles van Lerberghe)
Track Name: C'est l'extase langoureuse
It is languorous ecstasy,
it is amorous fatigue.
It is the rustling of the woods,
in the embrace of the breezes.
It comes from the grey branches above:
a chorus of soft voices.

Oh, the frail and fresh murmur!
It warbles and whispers,
resembling the soft cry
exhaled by rustled grasses…
You might say, under the flowing water,
the muted sound of rolling pebbles.

This soul, which laments,
with this dormant moan:
it is ours, is it not?
Mine, and yours -
which exhales the humble anthem,
on this mild evening, so softly.
(translation by Roxanna Walitzki)


C'est l'extase langoureuse,
C'est la fatigue amoureuse,
C'est tous les frissons des bois
Parmi l'étreinte des brises,
C'est vers les ramures grises
Le choeur des petites voix.

O le frêle et frais murmure !
Cela gazouille et susurre,
Cela ressemble au cri doux
Que l'herbe agitée expire...
Tu dirais, sous l'eau qui vire,
Le roulis sourd des cailloux.

Cette âme qui se lamente
En cette plainte dormante
C'est la nôtre, n'est-ce pas ?
La mienne, dis, et la tienne,
Dont s'exhale l'humble antienne
Par ce tiède soir, tout bas.
(text by Paul Verlaine)
Track Name: Il pleure dans mon cœur
It is crying in my heart
as it is raining on the city.
What is this languor
that penetrates my heart?

Oh, sweet sound of the rain,
falling on the ground and rooftops.
For a heart which is weary,
oh, how pleasant is the sound of the rain!

There is weeping without cause
in this disheartened heart.
What! There has been no treason?
This mourning has no reason.

It is truly the worst pain,
not to know why -
without love and without hate,
my heart is filled with such grief.
(translation by Roxanna Walitzki)


Il pleure dans mon cœur
Comme il pleut sur la ville ;
Quelle est cette langueur
Qui pénètre mon cœur ?

Ô bruit doux de la pluie,
Par terre et sur les toits!
Pour un cœur qui s'ennuie,
Ô le bruit de la pluie !

Il pleure sans raison
Dans ce cœur qui s'écœure.
Quoi! nulle trahison ? ...
Ce deuil est sans raison.

C'est bien la pire peine,
De ne savoir pourquoi
Sans amour et sans haine
Mon cœur a tant de peine!
(text by Paul Verlaine)
Track Name: L'ombre des arbres
The shadow of the trees, in the misty river,
is vanishing like smoke.
Meanwhile, in the air, among the real branches,
lament the turtle-doves.

How much, oh traveler, this pale landscape
mirrored your pallid self.
And how sadly wept, in the high foliage,
your drowned hopes.
(translation by Roxanna Walitzki)


L'ombre des arbres dans la rivière embrumée
Meurt comme de la fumée,
Tandis qu'en l'air, parmi les ramures réelles,
Se plaignent les tourterelles.

Combien, ô voyageur, ce paysage blême
Te mira blême toi-même,
Et que tristes pleuraient dans les hautes feuillées, -
Tes espérances noyées.
(text by Paul Verlaine)
Track Name: Green (Aquarelle)
Here are the fruits, the flowers, the leaves, and the branches.
And here is my heart, which beats only for you.
Do not rip it apart with your white hands,
and, to your beautiful eyes, may this humble present be sweet.

I arrive, still covered in dew drops,
which the morning wind freezes on my forehead.
Permit that my fatigue, resting at your feet,
may dream of the sweet moments that will refresh it.

Let my head roll onto your young breast,
still resounding with our last kisses.
Let it soothe the good storm,
and let me sleep a little, while you are resting.
(translation by Roxanna Walitzki)


Voici des fruits, des fleurs, des feuilles et des branches
Et puis voici mon cœur qui ne bat que pour vous.
Ne le déchirez pas avec vos deux mains blanches
Et qu'à vos yeux si beaux l'humble présent soit doux.

J'arrive tout couvert encore de rosée
Que le vent du matin vient glacer à mon front.
Souffrez que ma fatigue, à vos pieds reposée,
Rêve des chers instants qui la délasseront.

Sur votre jeune sein laissez rouler ma tête
Toute sonore encore de vos derniers baisers ;
Laissez-la s'apaiser de la bonne tempête,
Et que je dorme un peu puisque vous reposez.
(text by Paul Verlaine)
Track Name: Spleen (Aquarelle)
The roses were too red,
and the ivy too dark.

Dear, just one movement from you,
revives all of my despair.

The sky was too blue, too tender,
The sea too green and the air too sweet.

I fear all the time what might come -
some horrible flight from you.

Of the glossy-leaved holly,
and the shiny boxwood I am weary,

and of the endless countryside,
and of everything, except you…
(translation by Roxanna Walitzki)


Les roses étaient toutes rouges
Et les lierres étaient tout noirs.

Chère, pour peu que tu te bouges
Renaissent tous mes désespoirs.

Le ciel était trop bleu, trop tendre,
La mer trop verte et l'air trop doux.

Je crains toujours, -- ce qu'est d'attendre
Quelque fuite atroce de vous.

Du houx à la feuille vernie
Et du luisant buis je suis las,

Et de la campagne infinie
Et de tout, fors de vous.
Hélas !
(text by Paul Verlaine)